By Russell Moore
The Cullman Times
Another balanced offensive attack resulted in another comfortable victory for the defending state champion Wallace State men’s basketball team Tuesday night, as the Lions defeated Alabama Southern 79-68 at Tom Drake Coliseum.
Four players finished with double figures, helping the Lions improve to 3-0 on the young season and collect their second impressive win in less than a week.
Jacquise Moore led the charge with 18 points, Jestin Lewis scored 11 of his 15 in the second half, Marcus Johnson put in 10 of his 12 after intermission and Ryan King added 11.
“We obviously have very, very good depth to start the season and that’s always a plus. The consistency of each guy’s effort is going to be the tell-tale factor of how good we are going to be,” Wallace State coach John Meeks said. “We’ve got to play 40 minutes from an intensity perspective and quit playing well in spurts.”
Two strong Wallace State runs to begin each half were enough to put Alabama Southern away. The Lions opened the game on a 16-4 charge more than halfway through the first half, pushing out to the lead on a Moore steal and subsequent layup.
The Lions led 34-25 at the break. They went on an 8-0 surge to begin the second half, receiving scoring contributions from four different players and extending the advantage to 42-25.
Alabama Southern could only trim the deficit to as little as nine points the rest of the way.
Jamalcolm Griffin chipped in nine points for Wallace State.
For Alabama Southern, Will Bailey led the way with a game-high 20 points, while Orlando Coleman and Cyrus Lavant scored 12 points apiece.
Wallace State travels to North Carolina later this week and will participate in the Louisburg College Invitational, beginning Saturday. The Lions play Vance-Granville Community College in their tournament opener.
“We’ll play three tough, tough opponents. All three games are going to be a tremendous test for us,” Meeks said. “We are going to have to play extremely well to have a chance to win.”
% Alabama Southern 67, Wallace State 66: Gabrielle Brown’s game-winning layup with 7.5 seconds remaining capped a 10-0 run for the Eagles in the final 2:40, helping Alabama Southern escape with a thrilling non-conference victory.
Wallace State (2-2) maintained a 42-31 cushion at halftime. The Eagles chipped away multiple times in the second half and used their biggest run when it mattered most, handing the Lady Lions their first home loss on the young season.
Morgan Pearson led Wallace State in the loss with 20 points, shooting 4 of 6 from behind the 3-point line. Point guard Hannah Sharp finished with 10 points and four assists, Damia Andrews had 10 points, Presley Darling added eight points and Ashley Nance contributed six points and six rebounds.
DeShanti Lewis poured in 16 points for Alabama Southern, Brown had 15 and Devina Moulds added 11.
Wallace State’s women will also travel to North Carolina this weekend.